Hawaii reopened recently after almost 18 months of travel restrictions, but after a rise in cases, the state will reimplement COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Yesterday, in light of the rising number of cases, Governor David Ige said he would reintroduce a new round of restrictions that would affect restaurants, bars, and social gatherings.
He stated, “The delta variant has truly changed the COVID-19 pandemic here in the islands. We have seen increased transmission and we must take action in order that our health system is not overwhelmed.”
The List Of New COVID-19 Restrictions
- The state will implement a limit of 10 people for indoor social gatherings
- They will also introduce a limit of 25 people on outdoor social gatherings
- Gyms, restaurants, bars will have to abide by a 50 percent indoor capacity
- The state says it will enforce masks when people aren’t drinking or eating
- They all suggest that “mingling” is not allowed
David Ige did say there would be zero changes to Hawaii’s Safe Travels program. If U.S residents have proof of vaccination, there are no restrictions on traveling to and from Hawaii.
Travelers will still find these new restrictions frustrating though. These restrictions will hamper nightlife, eating out, and tours around the island. Some travelers have lambasted the current wait times in restaurants, stating that wait times have been extremely long throughout the summer.
These new restrictions are likely to add even more waiting time to restaurants. It’s also likely that restaurants will drop capacity and offer fewer tables, as a result, there will be far fewer places in restaurants.
How long will these restrictions last? The State has given zero time frame on the duration of these restrictions, despite the high vaccination rates on the island. Although David Ige said, “We anticipate that it would be four to six weeks to see a significant reduction in the case counts that we are seeing.”
He also stated, “We are hopeful that if people do their part and they maintain physical distance, we can have the case counts drop more quickly than that, but clearly it would be up to all of us as a community to successfully fight against the transmission of COVID-19.”
The Current COVID-19 Situation In Hawaii
Hawaii has vaccinated around 60 percent of its population since the vaccination rollout began. However, the state has seen a rise of around 168% in COVID-19 cases in the past two weeks. The state is now recording its most cases since the pandemic began.
Entering The State From The U.S Mainland
If you’re still looking to visit Hawaii despite the increasing restrictions, here’s how you do it!
The State launched a vaccination exemption program this year to allow U.S residents to enter the state without facing any quarantine. However, U.S travelers would need to have received their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least 15 days prior to arrival.
Travelers will also need to upload three vaccination documents to their Safe Travels Hawaii account, and these include:
- An official CDC COVID-19 vaccination card
- DOD DD Form 2766C
- Or a VAMS printout
Travelers should also bring a hard copy of their vaccination card, just in case officials ask for it or there are any issues with the system. Children under 5 are not required to test or quarantine if they’re with a fully vaccinated adult on their trip.
As of yet, the program does not cover international travelers because the United States — despite tonnes of pressure — has not decided to reopen its borders for leisure travel.
That might change in the coming weeks.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories